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Physicists Observe Rare Resonance In Molecules For the First Time

jeudi 2 février 2023, 08:00 , par Slashdot
Physicists at MIT have for the very first time observed a resonance between two colliding ultracold molecules. The findings have been published in the journal Nature. From the report: They found that a cloud of super-cooled sodium-lithium (NaLi) molecules disappeared 100 times faster than normal when exposed to a very specific magnetic field. The molecules' rapid disappearance is a sign that the magnetic field tuned the particles into a resonance, driving them to react more quickly than they normally would. The findings shed light on the mysterious forces that drive molecules to chemically react. They also suggest that scientists could one day harness particles' natural resonances to steer and control certain chemical reactions.

Overall, the discovery provides a deeper understanding of molecular dynamics and chemistry. While the team does not anticipate scientists being able to stimulate resonance, and steer reactions, at the level of organic chemistry, it could one day be possible to do so at the quantum scale. 'One of the main themes of quantum science is studying systems of increasing complexity, especially when quantum control is potentially in the offing,' says John Doyle, professor of physics at Harvard University, who was not involved in the group's research. 'These kind of resonances, first seen in simple atoms and then more complicated ones, led to amazing advances in atomic physics. Now that this is seen in molecules, we should first understand it in detail, and then let the imagination wander and think what it might be good for, perhaps constructing larger ultracold molecules, perhaps studying interesting states of matter.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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